Windsor

This 'incredibly alien' fungus isn't as scary as you might think

CBC reporter Kaitie Fraser spotted this strange jelly-like substance in her aunt's backyard, growing on a cedar tree. In fact, her aunt said, when she first saw it, it looked like orange flowers at a distance. But when she started to approach it, it looked more like clumps of gummy bears.

Arborist explains what to do if you see this on one of your trees

(Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

It may look like an alien from outer space — but it's not as scary as it seems. 

CBC reporter Kaitie Fraser spotted this strange jelly-like substance in her aunt's backyard, growing on a cedar tree. In fact, her aunt said, when she first saw it, it looked like orange flowers at a distance. But when she started to approach it, it looked more like clumps of gummy bears.

So what took over this tree? According to Alexandria Buchanan, district manager for Davey Tree Service in Windsor, it's a common problem.

"We see this a lot. It's called apple cedar rust," said Buchanan.

It's a type of fungus, she added, that's often found on junipers, according to Buchanan, adding it's "incredibly alien" in its appearance.

"It's bright orange. It's got spikes typically coming out of these brown kind of casings. So these vibrant, orange spikes are just shooting out of your normal green foliage."

Buchanan said she hasn't seen this fungus recently in Windsor-Essex — but it comes in waves, along with other types of disease.

(Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

But what's even more strange is that the fungus is making its second appearance on this tree. Last year, Fraser's aunt said she found bumps "almost like a walnut" — and this year, there were "orange tentacles."

According to Buchanan, that's the natural progression for this type of fungus. It may be a scary sight, but it's not dangerous, she said.

"It's actually a type of fungus that isn't detrimental to the tree's health in any way, shape or form. So it won't actually hurt," she said. "However, if you see it, you'll want to remove it so it doesn't spread to other trees." 

Buchanan recommends that anyone who sees this type of fungus call their local arborist so they can assess the situation and find out what the "best plan of attack for the tree is."

Tap on the player below to hear more from CBC reporter Kaitie Fraser, as she chats with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre about the weird fungus that popped up in her aunt's backyard.

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